Select Committee on Work and Pensions Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Disability Solutions

    —  Yearly up rate letters for Income Support do not include a breakdown of benefit entitlement for the April up lift. (Paragraph 1)

    —  The underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance should continue when there is a temporary break in caring. (Paragraph 2)

    —  Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance new decision letters should include the written reasons for the decision. (Paragraph 3)

PARAGRAPH 1

  Yearly up rate letters for Income Support, sent out in February 2007, do not include a breakdown of benefit entitlement for the April up lift. Consequently, claimants must request a further entitlement letter after 12 April to show the breakdown. The Local Authority needs this proof for Fairer Charging and Council Tax Benefit/Housing Benefit purposes.

  Income support up rate letters should be the same as Pension Credit up rate letters, which include a full breakdown for both the current and future benefit year.

PARAGRAPH 2

  When someone who receives Carers Allowance has a break from caring, for example when the person cared for goes into hospital, the underlying entitlement should continue. When the person then returns home and the Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance is reinstated Carer's Allowance Unit should be able to reinstate the Carers Allowance without the need for a new claim. This would save a lot of official time and avoid benefits going unclaimed.

PARAGRAPH 3

  Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance new decision letters should include the written reasons for the decision. Claimants would then have better information as to how the decision has been reached. This would avoid the need for claimants and advisers to telephone and request an explanation or written reasons for the decision. In my opinion this would save unnecessary and frivolous appeals.

Mr Roy Beeson

April 2007


 
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